With a sign of clear skies and a shorter course, things are looking bright for UCLA women’s golf.
After struggling in the rain in their last competition, the team is looking to defend their title as champions of the Stanford Intercollegiate tournament this weekend. They ended last year’s tournament an outstanding 10 under par.
Coach Carrie Forsyth noted that this course is not as long as University of Georgia’s, where they competed previously. As a whole, the UCLA women’s team has more ease in shorter courses, and this weekend will be a chance for them to play their strengths.
“For me as a coach, it’s one of my favorite golf courses. We’ve had a lot of success here in the past,” Forsyth said.
“The field is pretty strong and we’re just looking to have a good tournament and play well.”
In a situation comparable to last year, the team will be missing one of its key players. Last season, All-American senior Stephanie Kono chose to compete as an individual instead of with the team, winning second place overall. Forsyth mentioned that had she competed with the Bruins, their lead would have been considerably higher.
This year, they’ll once again be missing their star. According to Forsyth, senior Tiffany Lua will be out for the rest of fall because of wrist injuries, but will be ready come spring. Despite being short-handed, the Bruins are certain that they’ll come through this weekend.
Previously, Lua was only supposed to sit out the first two tournaments of the year.
The same group that traveled to Athens, Ga. two weeks ago will participate in this weekend’s tournament and with the expectation of clear weather, they are anticipating an improved finish.
Sophomore Erynne Lee is hoping to come back strong this weekend and continue refining her stroke, while sophomore Kyle Roig will attempt to gain a better score with the assistance of the shorter course.
Junior Ani Gulugian, redshirt senior Lee Lopez and freshman Louise Ridderstrom will complete the UCLA squad.
“I’m expecting to improve a lot from (the Fall Preview). I’m working on my putting; I want to make my strokes better, and just feel more comfortable with that,” Ridderstrom said.
Lopez had a fair game at the last tournament, despite the conditions of the course, but she is feeling optimistic about this upcoming weekend.
“We’ve been working really hard and I think it’s time to just play with what we’ve got this week and just keep getting better,” Lopez said. To improve from her last tournament, Lopez focused on the little things that she struggled with.
“I worked a lot on my short game and my ball striking. It’s slowly coming together and I’m looking forward to getting better every single week,” she said.
According to Forsyth, all signs point to an interesting weekend for the team and a chance to reestablish themselves as a contending team.
“Every one of the girls that we have in the lineup can finish in the top 20 in this tournament,” Forsyth said.
“I would really like to see everybody have a strong individual finish, because if we do that, then of course, the team does really well.”
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